Boys hockey: St. Joseph withstands Trumbull barrage

Despite surrendering more than 50 shots against, the St Joseph High boys hockey team skated away with a 3-1 victory over Trumbull, at The Rinks at Shelton, on Saturday.

The Cadets improved to 2-6 overall and the Eagles fell to 3-5.

St Joe’s goaltender Chris Higgins made a 2-0 lead hold up, even though Trumbull finished with a 52-31 shots on goal advantage.

The Cadets scored once in each period.

Dareios Linss was assisted by Charlie Chagnon 7:19 into the first stanza.

Sam Bracchi, set up by Tommy Flynn, made it 2-0 just 5:04 into the middle period.

Trumbull kept putting the puck toward the net and answered less than three minutes later, on an unassisted tally by Alex Chopskie.

Flynn capped the scoring when he cashed in on a Trumbull give away in its own zone with 4:40 left in regulation.

With the Cadets clinging to a 2-1 lead, the Eagles threatened to knot the score. Owen Finnegan redirected the puck in close for one of the better chances, but Higgins stood tall.

The Cadets had opportunities to add to the lead during a two-man advantage early in the third period, but Trumbull penalty killers Alex Jackel, Luke Feretti and Joe Polzello, along with goalie Alex Tsymbaluk, kept it 2-1.

John Guerrera, Jack McLean and Finnegan applied plenty of pressure as the Eagles put together a strong shift early in the third.

“We outshot them a ton,” Trumbull coach Greg Maxey said. “It’s the same old thing: we made a couple mistakes and the other team capitalized.”

Cadet coach Eddy LeMaire credited defenders Liam Gelston, Tom Scheitinger and Charlie Chagnon for doing a good job to aid their netminder.

“Chris Higgins was really good — very solid tonight — but I think we kept most of the shots from the outside. He saw most of the shots,” LeMaire said.

Higgins said: “At the end of the day we’re just looking for the win and we got it. I’m proud of the boys.”

Maxey thought his team struggled to develop high quality chances initially, but noted that his Eagles started to generate better opportunities as the game went on.

“In the first period we didn’t get any traffic in front. In the second period we got bodies in front,” Maxey said. “We were starting to get some redirections and some second chances. I think our effort was pretty good. We fought pretty hard.”

He added that his team has done a good job to create chances in recent games to no avail.

“We’re getting offense but we’re just not finishing,” Maxey said.

St Joe’s is a Division I school and Trumbull competes at the D-II level, but the ice never seems to be tilted when these FCIAC Trumbull foes lace up the skates and tangle.

“Coach Maxey always gets his team prepared for the St. Joe’s-Trumbull rivalry,” LeMaire said. “They probably always have their best games against us.”